Today when I went to pick up Benjamin, I slipped into the door without announcing myself so I could watch him play for a minute or two. I have been doing this since it was mentioned at my parenting group last month. Usually it only takes him a minute or two to see me, because he is crawling around or pulling up - climbing, playing peekaboo with the caregiver, etc. Today, though, was different. Today when I walked in he was with two other babies, sitting around a box full of nesting blocks. He was concentrating so much on the blocks! I could see his little brain working, deciding what to do with them, putting them into the box, taking them out of the box, seeing what blocks the other two had. He was not looking up at all! I have noticed him concentrating more at home lately too, but with so much distraction (cats... us, lol), I had not seen this level of intensity. It was pretty cool! I did not want to interrupt him. But after several minutes I had to. I said "Hi Benjamin!" relatively quietly. He looked up. I thought he was going to get upset and want to keep playing. But no, despite his grown up concentrating, he is still Momma's little boy! After a second of realization, he totally dropped the blocks and made a bee-line for me, straight over the block bin!! It was adorable and heart-warming.
Somehow, when I was putting him in the car seat a few minutes later, he seemed so much more a little boy and less a baby - having seen him concentrate like that, the little gears turning, and seeing his conscious decision of what to do when I arrived. I am sure there have been many moments that I could have felt this, but today was when it struck me. My baby is still a baby, but he is rapidly headed towards little boy.